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$500G state grant to help fund Roslyn Grist Mill restoration

The wooden structure, built in the 1700s, is one of the oldest buildings on Long Island and also has been used as a tea house and tourist attraction.

The Roslyn Grist Mill is seen in August.

The Roslyn Grist Mill is seen in August. Photo Credit: Chris Ware

An effort to restore an 18th-century mill in Roslyn has received a half-million dollars in funding from New York State.

The Roslyn Landmark Society last month was awarded $500,000 that will go toward restoring the Roslyn Grist Mill on Old Northern Boulevard. The grant comes from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, with funding from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

"This is a bit of Long Island history," the society's president Howard Kroplick said about the mill. "It's one of the oldest buildings on Long Island, and I believe it might have been the first building in the Village of Roslyn."

The mill is a three-story, Dutch industrial building constructed between 1715 and 1741. It was used as a grist mill, a tea house and tourist attraction, from 1920 to 1974.

Scores of Dutch immigrants settled along the Hudson Valley and western Long Island in the late 1600s and 1700s, Kroplick said, and the mill is a still-standing example of how those settlers built their establishments.

The mill was deeded to Nassau County in April 1976 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The county has placed the society in charge of restoration efforts.

After the restoration, the county plans to transfer ownership to the society, North Hempstead Town or Roslyn Village. The society wants to convert the mill into an educational center focused on Roslyn history and the history of grist mills on Long Island.

“As a Roslyn native who grew up in the village, this is a dream come true,” Jay A. Corn, the society’s secretary, said in a statement. “I can’t think of a better way to pass the torch of history down to future generations.”

Restoration work was stalled for more than 40 years, Kroplick said, but substantial renovations began in November.

The society plans to restore the mill in stages. Phase one is a $2.9 million effort, of which the society has raised $1.94 million, including the money from the economic development council. Phase one consists of raising the mill’s entrance to street level, stabilizing the structure and restoring the timber frame, Kroplick said. Phases two and three will focus on the exterior and redecorating the interior.

In January, the society plans to install a marker on the property that details the building's history as a tea house, Kroplick said.

Kroplick said the entire project will take three to five years, depending on how quickly the society can secure more funding.

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